cover image Facing Fear

Facing Fear

Karen Lynn Williams, illus. by Sara Palacios. Eerdmans, $18.99 (44p) ISBN 978-0-8028-5490-2

Enrique’s triumphant winning kick qualifies his soccer team for a tournament, but the 10-year-old faces a barrier to attending: though Enrique was born in the U.S., his family’s undocumented status complicates his passing through an immigration checkpoint, which could end in Mama, Papa, and older sister Rosa’s being deported. Angry and uncomprehending (“You’re always afraid,” he tells his father), Enrique plans to go anyway until a friend’s father is deported after being stopped for a broken taillight. As Enrique’s family takes refuge with relatives to avoid a possible roundup, he learns the full story of the family’s journey to America, and gains a deeper appreciation for their courage. The ending has an after-school special feel, but Williams’s (A Thousand White Butterflies) storytelling is otherwise heartfelt and sympathetic, with back matter that provides context and lists support organizations and further reading suggestions. In earnest vignettes, Palacios (A Way with Wild Things) brings emotional tension to the family’s backstory, clearly portraying the relentless anxiety of one undocumented family’s experience. Ages 5–9. [em](Mar.) [/em]